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What are the current rules for travel between Norway and the USA

Travel to Norway is set to become easier with the country's scrapping its Covid-19 travel rules on Wednesday. Here's what you need to know about travel between Norway and the USA.

Pictured is somebody in the baggage hall in JFK airport.
Here's what you need to know if you are travelling between Norway and the US. Pictured is JFK airport. Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP

From Norway to the US

Non-US citizens and residents can only travel to the states if they are fully vaccinated. US residents and citizens can travel to the country if they aren’t fully vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your final dose. 

All travellers from Europe to the United States will need to provide a negative Covid test before boarding the plane, taken within one day of departure.

The new one-day testing requirement would apply equally to US citizens and foreign nationals arriving in the US. In addition, all travellers over 2 years of age will need to test.

Those who have recovered from Covid within the previous 90 days will be able to show the test that returned positive instead. 

The pre-travel period is considered the entire day before the journey rather than 24 hours. 

READ ALSO: Travellers from Europe to US face tougher Covid test restrictions

Travel from the USA to Norway

Norway has lifted all travel bans on who can enter the country. This means all travellers can come to Norway regardless of their reason for travel. 

One other thing to know about before we get onto the rules is that the US currently lists Norway as a level four country. This means that travellers are advised not to travel there due to the Covid-19 situation in the country. 

However, this is just a travel recommendation rather than a ban on people going to Norway. 

All travellers over the age of 16 must register their journey to Norway on the government’s website. This applies regardless of vaccination status or prior immunity. 

Pre-departure Covid-19 tests are required for people who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from the virus in the previous six months. This also applies to travellers without a valid Covid-19 health pass. Children under-18 won’t need to test before travel. 

Norway currently only recognises health passes compatible with the EU scheme and digital certificates from the United Kingdom and a handful of other non-EEA countries as proof of vaccination or having recovered from the disease. 

Unfortunately, American vaccine certificates do not currently count. This means that unless you have access to any of the approved passes, then you will need to follow the same rules as unvaccinated travellers. 

The test can be either a PCR or rapid antigen test, and the certificate can be in English. All tests must be taken within 24 hours of arriving in Norway. Given the long flight times, rapid antigen tests will be best for those travelling from the states. 

Those with approved health passes won’t need to test before travel. 

However, regardless of vaccine status, prior infection or health pass, all travellers will need to test for Covid-19 after arriving in Norway. In most cases, this can be done at the border, especially for air travellers. 

This will be a rapid test, and travellers must wait for results at the test centre. 

In instances where there isn’t a test station at the border, for example, some land borders, or in the event of queues, some travellers will be sent home with quick tests. Those sent home will have 24 hours to do the test. 

If the test returns positive, they will need to take a PCR test and isolate until the result is ready. 

From Wednesday, January 26th, Norway will scrap its Covid-19 quarantine rules for travellers into the country. Travellers arriving in Norway will no longer be required to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status or whether they have a valid Covid-19 certificate.

READ MORE: Norway to scrap Covid-19 entry quarantine for all travellers

What measures are there in Norway? 

There are currently a number of measures in place in Norway. People are recommended to have a minimum of ten guests at home. Facemasks will need to be worn in shops, restaurants and on public transport. People are also required to maintain a social distance of one metre. 

Additionally, the number of people allowed to gather at private events in public settings, for example, restaurant bookings, will be increased to 30.

Museums, libraries, shops and shopping centres can stay open but are required by the government to be run in a way compatible with the current restrictions and recommendations. This means that they may opt to have capacity limits. Face masks are mandatory in these settings. Amusement parks, arcades and indoor play areas are all closed.

The rules on how many people can gather at an indoor public event, such as a show, allow up to 1,500 people indoors to be in attendance and 3,000 outdoors.

Guests will need to be split into cohorts of 200 and will need to be socially distanced from those not in their household.

Be wary, though, as some theatres have said that the cohort system makes it hard for them to operate near the new 1,500 person limit, meaning some venues may remain closed regardless of the relaxed rules.

READ MORE: What Covid-19 rules apply when going out in Norway?

If you test positive for Covid-19, the isolation period will be a minimum of six days but will not end until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine.

If you live with somebody or your partner has tested positive for the virus, you will need to isolate before testing on day seven. If the test returns negative, then isolation ends.

Other close contacts of people who test positive for the virus are no longer required to quarantine. Instead, they are asked to take a Covid-19 test on days three and five after being identified as a close contact and to keep an eye out for symptoms for ten days.

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Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

The public has been warned by the Norwegian Police Directorate, which issues travel documents, to not book any foreign holidays without a valid passport due to long waiting times for travel documents.

Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

Due to long waiting times, the public has been cautioned against making holiday plans without a valid Norwegian passport as travel documents may not arrive in time for the trip. 

“We would strongly encourage people to wait to book a holiday abroad before they know that they have their travel documents in order,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement on Wednesday

Previously the police said that those travelling within the EEA this summer should instead order a national ID card which allows for travel within the Schengen area because that form of travel documentation was subject to shorter waiting times. 

Those wishing to travel during fellesferie, the collective holiday period in Norway, have been advised to order new travel documents by the end of May or the beginning of June at the latest. 

Despite the measures put in place by the police to try and ensure that supply meets demand, waiting lists are growing longer, and the authorities don’t expect the backlog to be cleared until the autumn.

The current waiting time for passports is around seven weeks. However, the police have said they expect this to increase to 10 weeks by July. 

READ MORE: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

So far this year, the police have received 560,40 passport applications. In contrast, the police registered 270,000 applications in 2019. 

A mixture of the pandemic and war in Ukraine has made getting the materials used to produce national ID cards and passports more difficult.